Under mounting pressure not to run, Governor David Paterson announced Friday that he is officially ending his election bid.

At a news conference in his Midtown offices, Paterson cited an accumulation of distractions, but said he had never abused his office. He says he is "being realistic about politics" and says he never abused his office, "not now, not ever."

Paterson formally announced his campaign last weekend but had faced mounting calls to drop out of the race.

He has been unable to weather harsh criticism of his handling of a domestic violence case involving a trusted aide.

Paterson became governor in 2008, when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a prostitution scandal.

Democratic leaders throughout the state and in Washington had been urging the embattled Paterson not to run, fearing his low poll numbers and overall unpopularity in dealing with a dysfunctional legislature, would bring down the rest of the Democratic ticket in November. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is the favored candidate, who is expected to announce his candidacy in a few weeks.